The Lightning Bolt

Tony Robbins has often said one must figure out how to get leverage on oneself in order to create change. So today my muse (who is desperate to find expression) popped this thought into my head, “How have you managed to accomplish all that you have?” Well, that was easy to answer, it was my job to do those things. There were real consequences for not completing assignments. The thought of not meeting my boss’ expectations, providing deficient work, my own insecurities, letting the team down all drove me to extraordinary heights. In each job, I was accountable to someone with real power, who paid me real money, who had real needs and not delivering was simply not an option. I have managed to accomplish amazing things at work because I simply refused to let myself fail in the visible workplace of Hollywood where reputation is everything and gossip abounds.

“So, was it motivation I was lacking or was it accountability?” I pondered. In this light, it looked like my muse was nodding and agreeing. Accountability. Not just accountability, but visible accountability, where my reputation is at stake. What else, I asked myself (and my muse)? A deadline that I cannot push or excuse away. A team I will not let down, oh and a boss who is watching.

So there it was…

  1. Visible accountability
  2. An immovable deadline
  3. A team 
  4. A boss

It was a simple conversation that stopped my musings and kicked everything into high gear. I was at school one day chronicling the saga of this long-held dream and my latest concept for the structure of the book with a fellow instructor, Ana. “This sounds like the perfect Mother’s Day book,” she said matter-of-factly. 

Holy cow! I’m the marketing instructor! Why hadn’t I thought of that? Mother’s Day is perfect and definitely an immovable deadline. I certainly can’t move Mother’s Day. I had one of my four criteria.

It was November of 2016 when that lightning bolt had struck. The objective became to complete and market the book by Mother’s Day 2018. But, was a year and four months enough time? When I worked for Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation, we would start making and marketing our movies two to three years out. (Animated movies take even longer.) And I’d tell my students that nothing made me sadder than when one of them came to my office with their completed album or movie short and then asked about marketing it. I always tell them they are at least a year and a half late, while explaining the process the studios and record labels use.

Yet here I was behind the eight ball, and very late. But every fiber of my being was screaming that Mother’s Day 2018 was the right date. Could it be done in time? I still had to write the book in the format described to Ana, and then conduct an inspired marketing campaign. I looked-up. A quote, on my wall of post-it note quotes, stared back at me…”You must do things you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt. The die was cast. Now, help was needed.

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